You’ve probably been told from an early age to exercise, eat well and drink plenty of water to maintain a healthy lifestyle. And part of that health regimen includes getting the right nutrients. While most Americans are pretty good about taking their vitamins, a new study reminds us why it’s important to get our vitamin D, aka the “sunshine” vitamin, when it comes to our waistlines.
Researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, OR, recently found that elderly women with low levels of vitamin D weighed more than those with normal levels. Over the course of five years, the women who were vitamin D deficient gained an average of two pounds more.
What’s more, the study found that nearly 80 percent of the women had insufficient levels of vitamin D. “A primary source of this important vitamin is sunlight, and as modern societies move indoors, continuous vitamin D insufficiency may be contributing to chronic weight gain,” says study author Dr. Erin LeBlanc.
Weight gain talk aside, vitamin D is essential to help keep bones strong and prevent fractures. Plus, it’s been shown to help reduce inflammation.
Some great ways to up your vitamin D intake, besides laying out in the sun, are to eat dairy products fortified with the vitamin, as well as salmon and tuna canned in oil.
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